tv Washington Journal CSPAN August 6, 2010 7:00am-9:51am EDT
host: we want to hear from you clrnt it is time for direct help from mortgage holders. the numbers are on the screen. if you have received federal assistance for a mortgage, we set aside the fourth line for that. in aster piece, look at this issue. how would for giving mortgage debt affected obama and the
republicans will do whatever they feel they have to do. i blame the republicans for driving up the cost to the american taxpayer. i think the bill could have been more simple. it could have been put through. the healthcare reform, finance reform was weakened. >> andrew, another democrat. is it time for direct help from mortgage holders. it is time to look to all the
people. it is a shame to know you are going to owe more. you are going to kick all the people out on the street. it's a shame. host: sticking to this topic. are you a homeowner? caller: how about a future homeowner? host: if you would like to send in an email this morning, send in to us or join us on twitter. caller: i think as a homeowner, i did not buy it as an investment. i bought it as a place to lay my head and raise my family.
the fact that it is under water is a deal. i'm a financial coach. i trfl the world teaching this. a house under water doesn't matter. if you can pay those payments, continue to pay those payments. the notion that it is under water so there for i must get rid of my house is a bad notion. that's a slipry slope we are on. host: from the "washington post" this morning. fannie mae shows some proing residence.
host: rent hill, illinois. what do you think? caller: it depends on how it is meters out? there has to be some consequence. when you sell that home and the federal government has to get some back. i am one of those people. i love rick santelli's home. my mortgage payment is 7% of my gross. host: that's really low? caller: extremely low because i'm not an idiot.
they need to get rid of the zero down payment. that should never exist. >> lynn is calling from farm dale, california. you've received federal assistance? caller: yes. i'm retired, fixed income. when i purchased my home, it was very affordable. i had a rate increase last year. i got a 30 year fixed 4.8%. the problem is, our homes -- i just got it assessed.
$90,000 less. on top of that, i have a refinance loan, which i had got -- host: what kind of federal assistance did you get? caller: right now, i'm collecting unemployment? host: but you are not getting mortgage assistance? caller: only on my first mortgage. they are not helping for millions of us that have a second mortgage. host: you think it is time for direct aid for mortgage holders? oishgs right. host: kathy, go ahead. caller: the problem i have with assisting people that are under water in their mortgage is that you do penalize those people this put significant down payments on their home. they are losing equity also.
they are having to subsidize people who refinanced, pulled equity out of their home, maybe spent it on other things. you are actually rewarding behavior that we need to change in the american public if we are going to become financially stable. you are only giving to those people that are over leveraged, not paid down their mortgage, instead of stepping up into a house. they chose not to do that. i think help needs to go to the people, it needs to be careful out it is given in that if it is done for people who over spent on their personal budget and were over leveraged themself,
they are never going to make a connection -- the correction that all the americans need to make and fiscally being solid in their household. >> states awaiting federal cash. lawmakers bred a sigh of relief on thursday after the democrat senate offered to sell them billions from last year's stim luis bill ending what was last year's month-long challenge. more than 2 dozen cash straped states were already banking on the money they need to help
caller: no, i haven't. what do you mean? host: what direct help? caller: we have left that line for people who have received mortgage assistance. we are trying to hear their story. we are going to move on to an gi. democrat from florida. caller: i remember in 2003, 2004 when bush was encouraging people to buy homes. at the same time, the republicans did pass legislation giving tax breaks i never understood that.
direct help for mortgage owners yes or no. >> i wanted to say, first off, the idea of buying a house was saving money, getting a mortgage and paying it off. if you can't do that, i'm 24 years old, recently got married. you have the down payment, you save, you work. i fear the government is going to come in and bail out someone who made a bad decision.
go ahead. caller: in my household, we are right at $18 an hour, we can't own afford a home. we are bailing out all these people creating more debts and taxes the first time we get financial. we look forward to rescue. we work, we are americans. if we can't deal and afford it, we don't need it. you got to support this person
force you to be not making enough money. >> at this point, are you getting federal assistance and has it helped? . >> it has in july, i got approved. reduced my interest rate. they put the payments i was behind, the 20 months, in the back of the loan. i'm pretty satisfied with that. host: thank you for sharing your experience with us. i hit the wrong line. i'll put you on hold. tim, republican, hi.
host: from california, vince on the republican line. go ahead. caller: i don't think they should be helping people. people are talking about their second mortgages, which they are probably using to buy a car or something. the only way i could see it happening f is if that second mortgage was to use for healthcare. i think it is a big debt in america. host: where are you in california? caller: about an hour south of san francisco. host: how is the market?
caller: on average, we have lost about 20% to 30% of the value of our homes. a couple of pockets that are still increasing. generally, the average area is about 20%. host: thanks for calling in, direct aid for mortgage holders, what do you think? caller: it's a good thing for the country. host: why? caller: these economic things started from these mortgages. they should have fixed this problem a long time ago and the economy would be good today. host: lobbyists charged with making illegal campaign gifts. one of the most powerful lobbyists in washington known for steering campaign
contributions he faces devastating testimony from his son and has checked himself into a baltimore clinic for anxiety. he was the founder and owner of the now closed pma group associated with the late congressman mertha this is been good news. a democrat of indiana. the largest recipients of donations according to campaign
talking about the senators clyburn of south carolina, kochran, inouye, lugar. new york times in case you are interested in reading the whole thing. on the republican line, direct help for mortgage owners? caller: absolutely. i always had a problem he bailing out banks when it was 9 mortgage holders that had the problem. make all mortgages available at 2% interest to any american that wants to have it for, say, a year's time. people can get into something fixed. those of us that live within our means, it basically translates
into a tax cut for us. host: good morning, democrat. caller: in a last republican gave me something to think about. i see merits on both sides of the argument to maybe help these people. to me if the banks could find a way to become equity partners. they could say we'll drop your principle in half. when you sell it, we get half. that way, it gets them out of trouble and makes the bank into a partnership relationship with these people. i'd love to hear a comment.
host: what's your mortgage situation in l.a.? caller: to tell you the truth, i had an opportunity a couple years ago, i could have gotten one of those. i didn't. i'm glad i didn't. if i would have bought a home then, i would not have been able to hang onto it. host: the last caller, i think that would be a some what fairway to do it, just give help to the people who are under water i think is really unfair.
>> when about those that put the exact same down. they are not getting any money from the government. they saved money and did the responsibly thing. they are not under water. that's not fair to the people who have done things responsiblily. the irresponsible people or loan situations are rewarded host: president obama getting out of a brand newford explorer. i wish they could see the pride you take --
host: in the business section of the "new york times," gm presses for sale of the entire u.s. stake. host: roberts in georgia, what do you think about direct aid to homeowners? caller: i believe that would be a wonderful idea sings in 2007, i schmidted a proposal to my congressman. on this proposal, my congressman
thought it was a great idea. then according to the ccr contractor. host: now what's a ccr contractor? caller: you have to be registered in order to do business with the government on this order to seek a grant. by seeking a grant, what i would have as my subcontractor is realtors that actually pump homes. by doing that at a fair market value, i would take houses immediately out from under water and restructuring their mortgage at an affordable locked in fixed
rate. host: do you foresee success? caller: right now, it's just a matter of money. our government right now is so burdened with the wars an everything else. in fact, in 2007, had i had an opportunity to get on board here. the name of my program is young ent enter prizes community organization. host: on the phone, what do you think? caller: i don't know about direct help. i'm not behind, never been behind. we don't have an fha loan. we have a jumbo. our house is under water. we didn't put in the 20 percent down we should have.
in north virginia , they bought them out. in fair and prince williams, they are under water by no fault of our own. i saw the program. it does have a provision that was approved for homeowners whose homes are worth less than they were when they purchased it. that program is available to anyone, not just people who got behind but people who market forces drove them under water. the government is offering to help anyone but the problem with the program is, i spent probably an hour on the line and spoke with people taking information and send to someone else. they take you to a counselor only to tell you, it looks like you are a perfect candidate.
you are eligible to get your mortgage reduced the 2%. can you refinance to be at a normal level. then to be told you are on a trial program. during the three-month time, we are going to low er your mortgae payment. which in affect ruins your credit. it makes no sense to me. i'm trying to take advantage of a program. we are making our payments fine, our house is upside down and it wasn't our fault. host: front page of the politico -- thank you for sharing your
host: what do you think about direct aid to mortgage holders? ok going to michigan. democrat. caller: i amount under water. they got me three years ago by being dumb. the first loan, they will negotiate but gmac with the second loan won't negotiate. host: you mean the federal government won't negotiate on
that one? caller: right. that's 11.5%. they did bring the other one down to 5.5. if i could get gmac to lower their interest rate by 5% or 6% -- and they won't. host: do you support direct help? caller: yes, sir. please. disabled veteran. they take all of my pension to pay that $2,000 house note. that's all of my money. please send us some help. thank you for this program today. host: just want to show you the new blooum business week cover. back so soon. this is the globe and mail.
the four term fashion editor is part of a treasure of people and events from the past 30 years, all free, on line. it's washington your way. book tv has been finding out about the new books coming out this fall. >> jimmy carter everybodied wrote in his joirn al. a very intimate look at his white house years, this is super top secret. this is for sure going to be one of the biggest fall titles around. this is talking about specific points where he had to make major decisions. >> for the latest in non-fiction
books, visit c-span.org. >> available on c-span radio. flu now listen to c-span radio on your phone. available any time. it's free but check with your phone service provider for any additional charges. even more available on your phone. washington journal continues. >> tony morrow now with the national law journal. what is next when it comes to
the gay marriage debate and federal issue in california? guest: what comes next is an appeal to the ninth circuit court of appeals. walker declared the aid unconstitutional. he said it was aimed at spes fieing that marriage is only between a man and a woman. it was unconstitutional and vie lated the rights of the gay and lesbians. they have already filed an appeal, which is the next step in the chain.
it could be a year or more but it will get to the supreme court. host: has the appeal been filed? guest: i believe so, yes. host: it will be assigned randomly to a three-judge panel? guest: they have just a random procedure. you really don't know. the ninth circuit is fairly divided. host: confirmed by bush. judge walker born in illinois,
guest: you wouldn't argue that an african-american judge couldn't rule or a woman count rule. the question whether judge walker is gay did come up. now the opinion stands on its own. host: no matter what happens, it will make it to the supreme court? host: all right, let's tie this in with elaina kagen?
can we predict how she would vote on this matter? guest: i don't think we can. in her last job, she has defended the federal marriage act, which also state that's marriage is between a man and a woman. it was her obligation to do so to defend that law. we don't know her personal views on it. the republicans that opposed her would say that her vote is automatic in option to proposition 8 because she's a closet liberal or maybe not so much in the closet but a real liberal but i don't think that's a done deal or a definite. >> let's say that she is.
she would be replacing justice stevens. as we learned from you and others that many of the lawyers play to justice kennedy when they are arguing a case. is that a fair statement? the judge quoted the justice's statements a number of times. that's a way to get his attention and his vote. >> so, have we heard anything from justice kennedy when it comes to the issue of gay marriage and gay rights. he's been quite strong on opposing laws that discriminate against gays or put gays at a disadvantage. especially lawrence versus texas
in the sodomy case. he said, it wasn't the purpose of the government to invade the bedroom that way. you can confer from that that justice kennedy would be sim s wrfrn mpathetic and voters should be deciding. >> numbers are on the screen. we are talking about what's next for gay marriage, and tony morrow, can you ask any supreme court question, start dialling in.
>> first up, please go ahead. caller: the first thing i wanted to say was i believe the proposition 8 overruling was unfortunate considering it was a public vote. that reminds me more so of the need to have a federal amendment in terms of defining marriage. any time we look at the court decision, it's hard to recognize constitutional judges guest: individual rights shouldn't be put to a vote.
that's really how the courts view it. you could see that's an activist court. i think, you know, if you put the first amendment or other rights to a popular vote. i still think those are rights we value. we need those to protect them. are they going to be handling the appeal? guest: i think so. that's certainly an odd couple. i recall seeing them on opposite
sides arguing for george w. bush in florida. now they've joined. there's some concern that this is not a good idea for them to join and not a good idea to even take the case to federal court. now that judge walker has ruled, it is a general consensus that the time is now to raise this issue. it is going to be hard for the supreme court to escape it. host: let's say it looses on appeal, let's say prop 8 is sdee claired unconstitutional, how does that affect doma?
caller: the new america is what is right is wrong and what is right is wrong. this is an amazing country. look at arizona. look at california. i am just zpwustd over these judges. the supreme court shouldn't even be involved with what's going on. i think once the people have spoken, the people have spoken, sir. but that's my opinion. and i'll get off air to listen to your comment. thank you very much. guest: well, again, the point i think of of the judiciary that is life tenure, can't be voted in or out of office, is to protect minorities and to make unpopular decisions when constitution requires it. i understand your point and
your frustration, but i really do think that the role of the judiciary is to be a counterweight to the popular will in many ways, and i think that's what judge walker did. host: columbus, ohio. matt, democrat. caller: yes, of a comment too. -- i have a comment too. what scares me about getting the supreme court involved is they've made decisions in ways that more or less has inadvertently kind of rewritten the constitution. now, whether i agree with alternative lifestyle marriages or not isn't the issue. this is going to have to come down to just plain basic law of what's right and wrong. but the new appointment of elena kagan scares me because the recent supreme court decision that kind of goes against what the constitution actually says.
guest: well, i mean, you're right in the sense that the constitution does not contain a word saying that gay marriage is constitutional or is allowed. but i think the court through the decades has read into the words of the constitution for a variety of rights, and what you were saying about elena kagan, a lot of republicans who voted against her were critical of scommer said that she is basically a political person. she was very active in the clinton white house and was certainly a liberal political operative at that time, and so many republicans think that she's going to be that way
again at the court. but once you join the supreme court, i think your orientation is completely different. you take on a different -- you're not a politician, and very often presidents who appoint justices end up being disappointed in their appointee because the appointee doesn't always vote the way they wish. host: states that currently allow gay marriage, new hampshire, the district of columbia, iowa, in "the wall street journal" this morning is this chart, just to look at the elena kagan, 63-37 yesterday, it compares, sonia sotomayor, last year, alito in 2005, 58-42. roberts, 47-2, it and that was in 2005. stephen breyer in 1994, brey is 87-9.
when you looked at the vote yesterday, what's your analysis? guest: i was struck that she got fewer votes than sotomayor did. sotomayor in many ways was more controversial because of the wise latino remark and a few other things. just to put it in terms, it made it harder for senators to vote against it, whereas elena kagan didn't have as much of a constituency and she didn't excite people one way or the other. there wasn't a grass roots movement in her favor or against her, that's why it may have been easier for republicans to vote against her. host: new orleans, john, independent line. you're on with tony mauro, talking about the supreme court, gay marriage, elena kagan, go ahead. guest: yes, good morning. first off, i'm not nervous, i'm on my treadmill getting exercise like all americans
should be doing. mr. mauro made a statement that was pretty revealing. he said, and i quote as closely as i can, that in recent decades, the court has "read rights" into the constitution that were not specifically there. i think that pretty well sums it up, the shadow of the law that we often hear about. and the key point is this is in recent decades. now, the judge should have recused himself, which certainly he should have. he said that if judges are not going to recuse themselves, they can recuse themselves for everything, i'd like to mention the fact that we've seen judges many times recuse themselves because they had been members of all-male white country clubs, judges who owned stocks in african gold mining companies, african diamond mining companies, judges who have been victims or families that have been victims of hate
crimes, d.u.i. deaths. so judges recuse themselves all the time of emotional subjects that are close to their heart. clearly the judge involved in this case has a deep, vested interest in homosexuality, and he should have recused himself. i'd like hear the response. thank you. guest: well, again, i think when a judge owns the stock in company x and company x is a party in a case before him or her, that's pretty clear, the judge should recuse, and i think that is done pretty routinely. when it gets to be less specific, does this line your pocket or harm your pocketbook, i think it's a different matter. and i think it's the practical question would be, you know,
if, say, a black judge had to recuse in all cases involving discrimination against blacks, i don't think that would work. you might end up -- presidents might end up thinking, well, i shouldn't have zponed a black person if they're going to be recused quite a bit. the same, i would think, would go for homosexuality. so i think there's a practical concern, like you say, but also i think a broader point that i think judges are able to or certainly should be able to take their personal upbringing and personal features and set them aside and their personal views and rule on the case before them. host: next call from cedar city, utah. derek, republican line, hi. caller: hi, tony, i'd like to
ask your thoughts. when it goes to the supreme court and if the decision is found to change the definition of parties in a marriage, what about marriages with consenting adults? guest: plural marriage, well, justice scalia raised that in the gay -- in the lawrence versus texas case. he said, where will this stop? if we open the door to gay marriage, then there will be plural marriages and other, also sorts of other arrangements that will be allowed. i think there can be a stopping point. there can be a line that is drawn. but i think that's a valid point. i think, you know, once you start down this road, there can be consequences.
host: east plains, michigan, democrats line. go ahead, sorry about that. guest: plural marriages? come on, give me a break. you know, i'm 40 years old. i was born gay. i've been gay my entire life. and, you know, we're not third-class citizens. we're tired of it, ok? there's not only two gay people in the world, there's millions of us. have you ever seen a parade? there's millions. we have a right to get married. we have a right to the benefits of everybody else. i'm really tired of the right side always fighting about abortion, gay rights, they're taking over the constitution, when they're the ones that want to change the constitution. why don't they just keep their traps shut? we're tired of it. we're going to end up getting married, get over it. host: sow about that, i thought you were finished trfment given what he had to say, what did judge walker base his conclusions on, his opinion on?
guest: well, basically it was the equal protection clause, the 14th amendment, and what he was basically saying is that there's no -- the government, in order to treat categories of people differently, it has to have a strong justification for doing so, and he couldn't find any justification in treating gay people differently in terms of marriage. you know, the argument is made that, well, marriage is for procreation and gays won't be able to procreate. but, you know, under that theory, then you would bar marriages between people, a man and woman who are over 60 or something, and i don't think anyone would argue that. that's a valid rule. so i think his argument was that -- the government has -- california has no reason that is justifiable to treat gay
marriage differently. host: what do you think the appeal will be based on, the same argument they used in the original case? guest: yes, and the will of the people that this is an issue that california should be allowed to decide. and it should ultimately -- the other argument is that marriage laws have traditionally been the province of states, state laws, state regulation, and that the federal constitution shouldn't even be involved. host: connecticut, josh on our independent line. you're on with tony mauro. please go ahead. caller: hi. how's it going? this whole scenario is crazy. to me, it comes down to one thing. marriage is a religious, is under the purview of religious type freedom.
hello? host: yes, we're listening. caller: ok, sorry about that. it's want really a governmental issue. i don't see why the government can be involved. why does the government incentivize marriage? it doesn't make any sense to someone who is, say, myself, i'm 30, i'm not married. why do i have to pay more in taxes than a man and a lady or man and a man that get together and decide? i mean, it just doesn't make sense t. comes down to what andrew jackson said in the end. the supreme court made the decision, now let them enforce it. guest: well, that's an old saying, and the supreme court can't enforce its own opinion. it relies on judges and the government, other government agencies to respect its views. but judge walker did deal with the religious issue. he said that marriage, at least as government act, is a civil
matter, whether a religious group recognizes that act or supplements with another different ceremony, that's entirely up to the religious group. but as far as marriage being a civil act where the state is recognizing a relationship as marriage, that's really not a religious matter. that's a constitutional matter. host: we've got a tweet here. do you know why marriage laws were started to begin with? guest: well, i think it was to regulate, you know, to make sure -- i think there were some concerns, for example, about, you know, cousins, close cousins marrying because of certain health issues.
there was concern about young people being too young to marry. there are issues that i think society or society can make, draw lines, and i think that's where those marriage regulations began. host: florence, alabama. brett, republican, hi. caller: hi. yes, i was just calling because i agree with the supreme court needs to handle the gay marriage situation, because the politicians are too politicized right now. they can't even vote on normal everyday things now, they're voting along party lines. and i agree with the last caller, that it is a religious reason for not allowing gay people to marry. and as long as they're not forcing specific religions to perform the ceremony, i don't see why it should be anybody
else's business. thank you. guest: well, i think that's certainly what judge walker was suggesting, that marriage -- he was only dealing with marriage as a government act, not a religious act. host: we've got about 10 minutes left with our guest, tony mauro, then we're going to turn to the economic situation, the jobless numbers come out for july at 8:30 a.m. this morning. edmund andrews will be joining to us talk about that. antoinette in suitland, maryland, here in the suburbs, democrats line. please go ahead with your comments. caller: yes, i would like to say that i am for homosexual marriages. i think if there are two consenting adults and they have no desire to be with anybody of the opposite sex, they have a right to do that. and i think the government should stay out of this. i think this is a personal
choice. i think the government has swung too far in that direction, telling people they should have babies when they have been raped. i think this is just getting out of control. america is a country that is primarily on christianity. i consider myself a christian, but i don't feel that we have the right to cram our religious beliefs down the throat of other people. i believe that we should live and let live. i thank you for letting me say this on c-span. host: and we'll leave that comment. tony mauro has already addressed that kind of issue, so we'll move on to clayton, georgia. richard, independent line. caller: good morning. i believe that the marriage issue between gays should be a state issue. the constitution clearly says -- however, these justices are
being selected -- now, we saw that the video of justice sotomayor when she was a circuit court appellate judge stand up and say that the appellate court and as a judge that legislates from the bench, they set policy. she said that, even though she takes a note to interpret the constitution as it is. host: tony mauro, will you address the state issue when it comes to prop 8 and judge walker's decision, and it goes further, what happens to the regulation of marriage? guest: it's a very good question. i think that, in fact, states will continue to have a role in marriage, but as with many other things, there is a federal constitutional floor or ceiling, whatever you want to call it, that below which
states cannot go. i mean, for example, if a state said, you know, blacks may not marry whites, you can say, well, that's the right of the state. but, of course, i think that would be generally viewed as violating the federal constitution, and the federal constitution trumps the states in a n that regard. you can't have states, 50 states taking drastically different positions that violate the rights of individuals. so i think the states' right argument is appealing in many ways, but it has its limits. host: we're going to be talking with two attorneys general in our last hour of the "washington journal" about the healthcare law. we'll be talking with the oregon attorney general and the colorado attorney general who are on different sides of this.
one of the issues is, you know, injuring has filed suit against the healthcare ban. can you kind of put that in perspective as far as the healthcare law goes and states' rights? guest: the healthcare legislation is going to produce lawsuits for years and years to come on different aspects of it. it's a major piece of legislation with lots of moving parts, so i don't know exactly how it's going to all work out. but virginia's lawsuit is the first out of the box, and it raises probably the very fundamental issue, whether the healthcare legislation can require individuals to get health insurance, that's one of the provisions. and the attorney general in virginia has framed it as a violation of states' rights and
also a violation of individual rights that the fwovet can't be telling -- shouldn't be allowed to tell anybody. i think there's a good argument on the other side that the government can regulate commerce, but that's going to be the first issue, and it will get -- it should get to the supreme court probably within a year or so. as tocqueville said, any major issue in america eventually gets to the supreme court. host: john in philadelphia, you're on the air. please go ahead. caller: yeah, two quick comments and i'll get out of your hair. as an american citizen enjoying the rights, protections, and privileges of the constitution, i cannot in good conscience support the dial of those rights, protections and privileges to another american citizen. as to what rights are written in the constitution, there is no right for a president to establish faith-based initiatives, and the idea that
every right under the sun should have been written into the constitution is absolutely ludicrous. thanks. guest: well, i think that was the point i was making earlier, perhaps not very well, that the constitution was intend as a fairly general document. and i think in people think that it was intended to be supplemented through the years, when a constitution bars unreasonable search and is he sure, the founders of the constitution didn't anticipate wire taps and telephones. so u to read into the constitution new facts situations, new developments in the law and in public mores.
so i think that's the role of the court to update the constitution as needed. host: so tony mauro, when is the appeal going to be heard? do we have any idea? guest: honestly, i don't know the procedures of the ninth circuit that well. i think its reputation is generally that it doesn't -- it's not a rocket docket. it will sometimes take its time in dealing with issues. i would think sometime -- it will get going sometime later this year, but probably wouldn't be decided until next year. host: do we know when the judges will be assigned? guest: i don't know that either, i'm sorry. host: how is the ninth circuit when it comes to television cameras? guest: well, there was an effort -- actually, judge walker wanted certain parts of the -- of his hearing to be televised, and that was knocked down by the supreme court. and so i think there's a split
-- actually, the ninth circuit does allow some of its proceedings to be televised, so that will be very interesting to see that on television. host: mount shass at that, california, john, republican line. caller: yes, good morning. i am very much concerned over this gay marriage situation. i think that marriage has been pretty well defined by religions. i think the gay people are concerned about benefits that they might get by being adjoined. i think they should concentrate and focus on redefining a union . i don't care whether they get the benefits the same as traditional marriage, but to call a man and a man or a woman and a woman to be a marriage is
against religion. and i think they should be otherwise defined. guest: well, i think many states have gone that route. they allow gays and lesbians to have civil unions, something that's somewhat less than a full-fledged marriage. and that's been viewed as a pretty good compromise i think in many states, but i think the point of the gay rights movement in california, and it was echoed earlier by a caller, is that even that, even that is good enough. there really is no reason to distinguish at all between gay marriages and a traditional marriage, and that it shouldn't
be regarded as civil unions. it should be a marriage, not something that's a lesser status. host: with judge walker's decision, has any movement been made, has california changed its laws? is it the law of the land in any way at this point? guest: no, partly because judge walker did stay the decision or delay it, the implementation of it pending the appeals. we don't know if that's a temporary -- if that's a temporary space. so far, whether it's made permanent, we don't know. so no, it's not having an impact. it's want like the doors have been open and gay marriages are happening. host: sumpter, south carolina. don, democrat. guest: good morning. two questions. the first is, mitch mcconnell made an argument against miss kagan yesterday, was that she was too political, but
reflective of the number that peter just wrote, isn't the advise and consent function becoming nothing but political as' rect in the vote? also, isn't the gay community taking like a huge chance, and if this goes down in the supreme court, how long will it be before they can approach this again? i mean, it could be 20 years. guest: well, that's certainly a valid concern. that's why i mentioned there was a lot of hesitation about whether this suit in california should even be brought because you don't want to -- you don't want to make things worse by taking a case up to the supreme court and then losing, because that really would be a setback for quite a while. and i guess the argument against that is you can only wait so long, if this is such an urgent issue to a lot of
people, it just has to join it and see what happens. type town mauro, is it rolling the dice, all or nothing? guest: it is rolling the dice. host: for both sides? guest: i think -- i guess if i had -- if you asked me to bet how it will come out, i think the court will recognize gay marriages, or california's right to enact gay marriages. host: so they will stay judge walker's decision if it gets to that point, is that what you're saying? guest: no, i think the court would agree with judge walker's opinion. host: and that he wants a stay? guest: no, i'm saying it was the ultimate determination after it's argued, you know, a year or so hence. but that's just a guess. it is a gamble for both sides,
really. host: last call for tony mauro comes from ottawa, ohio. michael, independent line. please go ahead with your comments. caller: yes, i have a couple of comments. kind of scary how people don't understand how rights actually work. rights are not up for a vote. you can't vote to take away somebody's free speech or trial by jury or that type of thing. and the other thing people say, oh, well, it's not mentioned in the constitution, but we have a ninth amendment which specifically states just because a right is not specifically mentioned doesn't mean you don't have it. even though nobody brings that up, is the ninth amendment just a dead letter and not taken seriously? well, i will hang up now and listen to your response. thank you very much. guest: well, the ninth amendment does have sort of a checkered past and it's not really recognized as a major source of people's rights, although it's often invoked and
certainly in the constitution, but it just hasn't been actively interpreted very much. but as far as the court protecting rights that aren't in the constitution, i think that's, again, just something that the judiciary is supposed to do. guest: tony mauro, long-time supreme court correspondent and watcher, thanks for being on the "washington journal" this morning. we appreciate it. about halfway through our program this morning. coming up, we're going to be discussing the economy and the new jobless numbers, which are just being released now as we speak. then as i mentioned earlier, we're going to be talking with two attorneys general, one from oregon, one from colorado, as we continue our series, our summer series on healthcare. today it's on how it affects the states. so coming up next is edmund andrews of the fiscal times to talk about the economy and the
economic numbers. first, this news update from c-span radio. >> at 8:32 in washington, d.c., in the headlines -- crews in the gulf of mexico are waiting for cement to dry that was poured down the blown-out well yesterday. one of the final steps to shut down that oil well for good. meanwhile, mental health experts are concerned about the effect the b.p. oil spill is having on children. a survey of more than 1,200 parents commissioned by the children's health fund suggests that a third of children along the most impacted areas of the gulf coast have had physical or mental problems. u.s. officials are waiting to see if the afghan government will try to impede corruption probes of high-ranking government officials. concern that comes as a new report issued here in washington questions the karzai administration's ability to fight the bribery that is undermining the war against the taliban.
christina romer, one of president obama's first most pivotal economic advisors, is resigning her position as chair of the council of economic advisors. the white house describes her decision as unsurprising, saying that it was for personal reasons. she's returning to her job as professor of economics at the university of california berkeley. her resignation effective september 3. and finally, canada has lost 139,000 full-time jobs in july, and its unemployment rate hedged up to 8%. canadian economists had expected an increase of about 10,000 jobs in july following strong gains in recent months. and we'll be talking about today's new u.s. jobless numbers coming up on the "washington journal." and those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> a couple of live events to tell about you this morning. the american enterprise institute hosts a discussion on the fiscal condition of social security and medicare.
we'll hear about a government report released yesterday that cited an improved outlook for medicare and a slightly less positive picture for social security. we have it live on c-span3 starting at 9:15 a.m. eastern. and the joint economic committee meets today to hear testimony from keith hall, the commissioner of the bureau of labor statistics, on unemployment numbers for july and national employment trends. caroline mull ownee of new york chairs the committee. it's live on c-span2 starting at 9:30 a.m. eastern. >> "washington journal" continues. host: edmund andrews, senior washington correspondent for "the fiscal times," new unemployment numbers. here it is, the associated press is reporting private employers added 71,000 jobs in july. unemployment rate unchanged at 9.5%. interpret that for us.
guest: disappointment. disappointment. perhaps not too much of a surprise, but anything under 100,000 jobs is going to be sort of a discouraging sign that we're not going to be doing much to -- the trend isn't good for lowering the unemployment rate. last month, the government report that we added 83,000 private sector jobs, that was a disappointment, so this is down. analysts had been hoping and expecting for something on the order of 100,000 or a little more jobs last month. so what we're worried about here and what these numbers might suggest is that the trend is not only -- the bad trend from the last couple of months is continuing. now, i have to caution that i have only seen the headline number at this point. i haven't seen the details. and there's an awful lot that you need to look for in there.
but at first blurks i'd say this is a disappointment. host: u.s. unemployment rates over the last couple of years, it's currently at 9.5%. in fact, it said it stayed at 9.5%. last year, 9.4%. last january of 2009, 7.7%. july of 2008, 5.8%. in july of 2007, 4.6%. when an unemployment rate goes from 4.6% to 9.5%, how does that translate into number of jobs, do you know off hand? guest: we've lost more than eight million jobs, 8.5 million jobs, something on that order. that's an enormous number. and it's a good question, because if you think about what we understood to do to sort of get back to where we were, and if we were adding 100,000 jobs a month, it would still take just years to get back to the level we were at in 2008.
we have so much distance to make up at this point. and the rebound is slow. now, we've been in "jobless recoveries" before. the last two recoveries have been very disappointing for a long stretch at the beginning, so this has a history to it. host: edmund andrew is our guest from "the fiscal times." we're talking about the unemployment figures. we're also talking about other economic matters, which he can address. he was with the "new york times" from 1988 to 2010, a good 30 years. guest: not quite that many. host: 22 years, i need to work on my math. callers, here's are the numbers to call. edmund andrews, we talked about this top-line number, the word
you used was disappointment. the predictions that i had been reading coming up today were 42,000 private employer jobs to be added. unemployment rate going up to 9.6%. i think that was one firm that was predicting that. but that seems to have made it into a lot of mainstream press. guest: well, i think the number comes from a survey that a.d.p. does with macro economic advisors, and that's their own survey. it's a completely different survey of private sector employment. and it tends to undershoot the government's order on the number of 60,000, 70,000 jobs actually. so, in fact, you know, if you're really into trying to sort of puzzle these numbers through, some people were saying that 42,000 estimate that came out on, i think, wednesday, that might be a food
sign if it was undershooting the way it has been. again, i think people were hoping for closer to 10 guest: the first rounds are usually off by a good measure. they're but even so, they're really sensitive. they moves instant the, especially now. because the world, the markets are fixated on employment. it's the crucial element to
bring back consumer spending and getting the economy going again. so the longer we see these kind of discouraging, blah numbers, the deeper in a funk other parts of the financial markets are likely to be. host: all right. a little more on these numbers. workers were added at a weak pace for the third straight month. that addressed the trend that you mentioned, making it more likely economic growth will slow in the coming months. how can you predict that economic growth is now going to slow because of this trend? guest: i'm not sure you can leap to that conclusion. employment numbers tend to be a lagging indicator of growth. so what happens is that growth usually picks up first, and jobs come later as companies run out of people. they sort of hold back on the hiring until they're sure,
even, in fact, sometimes until they're a little late and they really need to scramble to ramp up production. so in that sense, they're kind of a lagging indicator. but the element of truth to that is that, right now, so much depends -- a lot depends on a rebound in consumer spending, and that probably isn't going to happen unless we see, you know, a sustained improvement in employment for two reasons. one is literally income, ok? you know, the more people that are out of work or the fewer people that have jobs, they're also going to be confident, of course, because the public at large is, you know, is very much watching and trying to sense what the overall environment is. and this is the gauge that they look at. so when they hear that the job trend is, you know, discouraging yet again, that kills confidence and hurts sales. host: the labor department says companies added a net total of 71,000 jobs in july, far below
the roughly 200,000 needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate, the jobless rate was unchanged at 9.5%. overall, the economy lost a net total of 131,000 jobs last month, as 143,000 temporary census jobs ended. guest: right so. even though private employers added 71,000 or so, the overall economy lost 131,000. now what people have been saying, and i think rightly -- analysts have been saying rightly, is that overall drop in jobs is not the thing that up to the worry about, because we had a big bump up in jobs a few months ago because. huge number of census workers that were temporarily hired. host: so have economists been kind of ignoring the temporary census worker phenomenon? guest: yeah, they've been trying to factor it out, because you had a sudden bump
up in those numbers a few months ago, and it's been taken away now. so really, you know, that's kind of a wash. host: july's private sector job gains were revised down to 31,000 from 83,000. may was revised up slightly to show 51,000 new net jobs. guest: so there's good news and bad news. what they're saying -- and this is what i was alluding to earlier -- these first numbers that come out on these fridays are notoriously off, and they're revised every month. you know this. they're revised every month backwards, up and down, they can move wildly. and it's not because they're incompetent incident at the labor department, it's because we're talking about a tiny, tiny fraction of overall employment in the country, this
change each month. you know, we have god knows how many workers, but it's a tiny fraction of the total. so there's a tremendous opportunity for bouncing as they refine these numbers. but what that revision is telling you is that things were even worse than we thought last month. and if, on the other hand, you're focusing on trend, then maybe this is a slight move upwards. host: eleanor lives in seattle. she's a democrat. please go ahead, eleanor. caller: yes, putting politics aside, i think we need to look at greed. we shouldn't reward people for outsourcing jobs. we should focus on education and hiring people here so we have more money, tax base, and we have more money. i want someone to comment on
that and i'm going to hang up. thank you very much for taking my call. guest: well, i think those people would say, you know, we'd rather have a little less greed and a few more jobs in this country, although i'm not sure that those things are mutually exclusive. some have made the argument when it comes to the bush tax cuts that, you know, why would we want to extend the tax cuts for the top 2% of earners? we could be using the money we get from that to plow into job creation, stimulus projects, you know, ramping up hiring, preventing the layoffs of more teachers and police and fire workers and so forth. so i think that the question that congress, you know, has to juggle with in the months to come will be, you know, one of
them is highlighted by the bush tax cut, the obama administration wants to make the tax cuts permanent for all households that have incomes below $250,000 a year, and the republicans insist that they want to make tax cuts permanent for everybody, including the very top end. and there's going to be a huge battle over that. and really, this gets back to the old cliche that politics is about, you know, who gets what. host: and who is right about the tax cuts, in your view? guest: well, i think that there's a pretty bad -- i think the argument for extending the tax cuts on the top end is weak if your argument is that's the best way to stimulate the economy. those tax cuts will cost $600 billion to $700 billion over 10 years. that's allots.
beyond that, the people in the top 2% are the most likely to save the extra money that they get from their tax cuts, so really, if you're trying to get some more, get as much bang for the buck as possible from niss cal money, that's kind of a bad way to go about it. host: what is "the fiscal times"? guest: i'm glad you asked. this is a new website. we started up -- we launched in february. it's i digital news service focused entirely on fiscal policy, but we cover a broad range of economic topics, as well as some personal finance. we were funded by the billionaire who funded all kinds of other ventures around. we are, however, not partisan
or ideologically driven. there's been some controversy about that. but basically, the "fiscal times" is a news site that tries to be sort of the go-to place for fiscal policy and anything related to it. host: next call, robinson, texas, pete. caller: good morning, gentlemen. in 1969, i started my own company. july of 2005, i had 771 workers. i have less than half of that, primarily because this corrupt, incompetent incident government we've got has basically gone out and destroyed the job creator. you talk about all these wonderful tax cuts and what they cost. well, let me tell you something, sir. as far as those tax cuts -- and we saw them coming -- we quit hiring. we are disgusted. every time you dip into what you call our profits, that is
less job hiring, less equipment buying, what do you think is going to happen when those tax cuts kick in that's going to try to hire somebody? he's going to lay it off. my two sons, who now run the business, we're now looking at hiring anybody. all we're looking at is trying to maintain enough workers that they can maintain a decent living. host: pete, what kind of business is it? oh, i think he hung up. guest: i was going to ask him whether it's really the prospect of the tax cut expiring that is stopping him from hiring or whether it's a general environment for sales and profits. what i'm reading in surveys of small business is that, i mean, tax cuts are for sure a big concern among small businesses and certainly corporations.
they're all against having their taxes raised. but i find the biggest concern is just pessimism about this. particularly, you know, in the consumer area. so small businesses, i think, have been particularly pessimistic, partly because they tend to be more oriented toward consumer products and services. host: and in fact, you've written quite a bit on small businesses. guest: i have. host: and their impact on the economy. recently in "the washington post" -- this past sunday, in fact -- you had a column in the business section of "the post," gauging the power of small business. there's also, on the website, at thefiscaltimes.com, you've got some articles. and linked to the "washington journal" website is edmund andrews writing about the impact of small businesses, can $30 billion jump-start growth? and once that bill comes before
the senate in september, is it a necessary bill to help small businesses in your view at this point? guest: well, i'm not sure it's necessary, but it strikes me as a bill that can't do much harm. the way it works, the main element is this -- there are two elements, really, but the main one is the creation of a small business lending fund which would be $30 billion that the government would make available to community banks, small, local banks with the intention that they in turn would leverage that into perhaps as much as $3hundred billion in loans to small businesses. they're not required to do that, but there are a lot of incentives to do that. they pay higher rates if they don't increase their lending and they pay much lower rates if they do. so it's an open question as to whether that will do much good.
it does seem clear to me that small businesses are having more trouble than large corporations in raising money, in getting financing. banks, especially community banks, have had a lot of problems with commercial real estate. they're sweating out of balance sheet issues and regulatory issues. so they've been much more reluctant to lend their lending standards that have gotten far tighter over the last couple of years, partly as they should have. and everybody is worried about the environment. large corporations have been taken advantage of the interest rate the fed has made available, so they've been able to raise money by selling bonds, and that market is pretty good. of course, as we all know, i've been reading for the last couple of months now, large corporations have huge amount of cash on their balance sheets. they've been able to cut costs,
boost profits, and they're holding on to their cash. so the bill insofar as it might create a lot more lending or make a lot more credit available to small companies is a good thing. and the cost does not seem to be high, because the treasury is lending this money to the banks, the c.b.a., the congressional budget office, basically estimates that they'll actually make a little money at the end of 150 years on the repayments and interest. so it seems like a good, useful idea. will it turn everything around? no. there are no silver bullets here. host: david in california, thanks for holding. you're on with edmund andrews. fiscal times. caller: yes, i wanted to keep things positive. i'm glad to hear about the small businesses bill. i do think that's a very positive step.
the report i read yesterday said that large corporations were sitting on like $830 billion. in cash. for instance, intel was reported to have $18 billion and that it took them $4 billion to open up a plant. so when do you think these larger corporations will start using some of that cash and start hiring and help us out here? guest: i couldn't possibly give you an answer on that. i just don't know. it does seem that large corporations are being very cautious right now with their money. almost all the players in the economy are being very cautious with their money. and i think we're going to have to see, you know, an improvement in the underlying
dynamics of the economy to give people the confidence to start taking more risks. on the plus side, the recent g.d.p. data has shown that, you know, investments and nonresidential structures and in equipment and software has jumped quite a lot. one of the patterns seems to be at the at the moment that companies are much more willing to invest in capital than they are in labor. that's not terribly unusual. that happened in a couple of recoveries as well. we'll have to see. this is a slow, painful recovery. host: a couple more figures just released. the underemployment rate was the same as in june, 16.5%. that includes those working part-time who would prefer full-time work and unemployed workers who have given occupy
their job hunt. all told, there were 14.6 million people looking for work in july. that's roughly double the number of december 2007 when the recession began. guest: right. we're treading water right now. that's what we're doing. we are treading water. and if we tread water like this for a long time, we are going to see the unemployment rate go up. we're not creating nearly enough jobs to, you know, keep up with the increase in the workforce. but i don't know that that's what's going to happen. i think that there is absolutely strong reason to believe that the economy will expand more rapidly, you know, later in the year, early next year, and that the pace of job growth will improve. unfortunately, we have so much
ground to make up, it's not going to feel great. host: last call is from van nice, california. cynthia, hi. please go ahead. caller: yes, i just wanted to say that i believe that what is going on in the country with big business is very obvious to the average person in terms of jobs, improvement rates, and everything. i don't see that coming real soon from big business because they have already their sights on other countries in which they can get cheaper labor. i believe that our state legislators need to rethink these incentives like the bush tax cuts and things like that because that it has not encouraged big business to do what it was intended to do, and
big business will still do what they do. i think the focus should remain on small business and small business should be the primary focus of everybody who has any kind of, you know, power to, you know, to encourage the government. host: all right, thanks. edmund andrews? guest: so i think your message is that the focus ought to be all on small business because big business is not going to be there for us and maybe, in fact, moving money overseas to, you know, faster growing countries in asia or whatever. there's a lot of truth to what you say. i would say, you know, there's a cliche that gets repeated all the time, and it has for years, which is that small businesses create 2/3 of all new jobs, and
there's a fiscal war going for years about whether that's actually true t. it's a really complicated issue to sort out with, you know, jobs created, jobs lost, and companies going into business and out of business and so forth. but it does seem as though small companies, those with fewer than 500 jobs do account for a large share of the net job creation in this country, not 2/3, but maybe well more than half, and companies with fewer than 100 actually themselves account for maybe close to half of the net new jobs. but a couple of things about that. one is the vast majority of small companies are very slow growing or not growing at all. they just sort of go along. they're local retailers, dry cleaners, companies, family-owned businesses that
just keep going, neither expanding nor contracting very much over the years. and the other thing is that there are very dynamic, large corporations. we actually do get quite a bit of job growth, a lot from companies with more than 1,000 employees. there's a very small, elite group of countries in this country, and they include large ones and small ones, that actually account for most of the actual net job growth in this country. but your point is well taken. look, small companies employ more than half of the workforce . whether they're fast growing or not. and when they're earning, as they are now, that has a big dent on overall employment. .
>> here are the headlines. the fourth woman to sit on the u.s. supreme court will be sworn in tomorrow by chief justice john roberts. today, at elena kagan joins president obama at the white house for a reception. she will be formally installed as the justice october 1 in a courtroom ceremony at the start of the high court's new term. republicans are expressing
cautious confidence of the big gains in the fall election, particularly in governor's races. although they acknowledge their party must do more to take control of congress from president obama's party in the midterm elections. it was all business and little celebration as the republican national committee meets this week to finalize tampa, florida, as the site of the 2012 gop convention and to set the presidential primary calendar. the fbi says that a suspected al qaeda operatives who lived for more than 15 years in the u.s. has become chief of the tavern network of global operations -- terror network's global operations, marking the first time a leader is so intimately familiar with american society has been placed in charg of americ -- placed in charge of attacks. he takes the position once held by collegiate mohammed -- khalid sheikh mohammed.
the site of the hiroshima attack echoed with the choirs of the schoolchildren and a ringing of bells, and a moment of silence at 8:15 a.m., the time the bomb was dropped. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> over the years it has come as close to becoming a religious issue as any issued there ever is. >> a pentagon reporter looks at the decades-long battle between marines and politicians to build the v-22 aircraft. find the entire weekend schedule booktv.org, and join us on twitter. >> c-span networks provide coverage of politics, public affairs, nonfiction books,
american history. it is all available to you on television, radio, on-line, and on social media networking sites. find content any time on the c- span a video library. we bring our resources to your community. it is washington your way but at the c-span network, available in more than 100 million homes. created by cable, provided as a public service. "washington journal" continues. host: this week "washington journal" began a series looking at issues and the news but this week is health care and the impact the implementation has had on consumers. on monday we look at the implementation by employers bid tuesday, we look at how the law changes health insurance and what changes you see now and in the future. wednesday will look at the individual mandate and what new rules are in place for individual customers.
yesterday we looked at changes to medicare part d. today we look at how the hell for allegedly attacked the state's but we talked to two attorney general's -- today we look at how the health care law impacts the states. we talked to two attorney general's. john kroger, attorney general of oregon, thank you for being with us. guest: there is a big debate about whether the law is constitutional or not. i have sworn to defend and uphold the constitutions of the united states and of the state of oregon. i believe 100% that the law is constitutional and should not be struck down by the courts. recently, ronald reagan's top constitutional lawyer called the legal challenge to the health- care bill far-fetched.
the reason for that is very simple -- the courts would have to throw out a string of supreme court cases going back over 105 years to the jacobson decision in 1905 in order to invalidate the law. for those of us who do not think that courts should change the rules but should apply prior precedent, it is very important that the law is upheld. host: what do you say to your fellow attorneys general across the nation who have filed suit saying that it is unconstitutional. what is your basis? guest: it is interesting, 20 of the states have filed trying to strike down the appeal, 30 of them have not done so. we asked the judge in florida to hear from some of those pro- health care states, and the judge denied our motion to file a brief explaining why we thought the law was constitutional. unfortunately it looks like we will not be participating in the litigation and the judge will only hear from the anti-health
care states. i am disappointed in that decision. when i talk to my fellow ag's are around the country, we talk like lawyers. i go back to the wicker decision in 1942, the dickenson decision for 1905. these presidents, what i read them clearly, it indicates that congress has the power to do what it did in this health care bill. people may disagree as a matter of public policy. some people may like the bill, some may dislike the bill. from the attorney general's point of view, the fundamental question is constitutionality, and i am confident that and the and the date the supreme court will hold this bill constitution -- that at the end of the day the supreme court will hold this bill constitutional. host: a district judge rejected arguments from obama administration lawyers that virginia has no standing to sue over the law and would have no chance of ultimately prevail in.
do you disagree with that? guest: the judge said it was appropriate for va to bring a lawsuit. i don't think, from my perspective, anyone has a big disagreement with that. i think virginia at should be heard in court. the judge went on to say that he was not ruling in any way on the merits of the lawsuit yet. i think we will have a lot of lower court judges weighing in on this question. ultimately, i think we are all certain that this case will go to the united states supreme court. you may see various courts around the country saying that the law is constitutional or unconstitutional, but the ultimate arbiter will be the united states supreme court. host: we are talking about implementing the health-care law and the states. attorney general kroger of oregon, has your state been
required to do anything with regard to the law? what has been implemented? guest: you know, we are all sort of the figuring out what comes next. for me, as a law enforcement official, the most important point will not come until 2014. one of the biggest problems we have is that we cannot get enough people into alcohol and drug treatment programs. that is overwhelmingly the number one cause of our crime in oregon. in 2014, the health-care benefits that extend coverage to substantive use treatment will kick in. as a law-enforcement official, one of the things i'm doing is working with our health officials to make sure that when that happens in 2014, we can get as many people into drug treatment and alcohol treatment programs as possible. oregon is very typical and now, turning parents and children away from drug treatment programs because we do not have the capacity to get them some help. a lot of these people want a
committing crimes and cost taxpayers billions of dollars -- a lot of these people wind up committing crimes and cost taxpayers billions of dollars. i am enthusiastic about getting the benefit on line. the health-care bill -- one of the strong benefits is that it will be a very good anti-crime measure to add more people will get treatment and will bring down crime rates. host: what about the individual mandate issue, that people will be required to get insurance? opponents say that is unconstitutional. guest: you can go back to the jacobs a decision in 1905, where the supreme court said that the government could require people to go to the doctor and pay for doctors' services and pay for a particular product, medicine to get inoculated from various diseases, and that you did not have a due process right to prohibit that. they went on to say that if you do not get inoculated, you can be fined. when either the individual
mandate, it seems to fit closely within the purview of the decision. this is obviously part of the law that has been very controversial. but when you talk to healthcare professionals, one of the things to tell you is that the current status quo is unacceptable. i was meeting on tuesday with the chief executive officer of one of our major hospitals in oregon, and one of the things he told me is that they have a huge number of patients coming in for what they called charity care, people with medical problems for themselves or children with no health insurance to pay for it. unfortunately, that makes it hard for the hospital to stay in business. all this costs are passed on to taxpayers. ultimately, we are paying that either in taxes or public health, or a very frequently we are paying higher insurance premiums because we have health insurance and some people do not. the requirement that people get to the insurance and they need to take care of their families and themselves, and that they not shift those costs onto us,
is a badly needed step. it is already the case that people don't get health care for the children they can go to prison. to say that to meet that requirement people need to have health insurance, so that they can do it properly and not force the rest of us to pay for it, it seems to me like a very worthwhile and appropriate step. host: john kroger was elected attorney general in 2008. he is a democrat. we're talking about implementing the health-care law in the states. mobile, alabama, and and i got your first up. -- independent line, you are first up. caller: hi, peter. i absolutely agree with the attorney general. my thing is that if we could approach to public option -- approach to the public option, i really believe that that would
lessen the impact on the states. guest: i agree with you completely. i think that one of the things that the bill allows states to do is to innovate. states are allowed to opt out and create their own health care systems. one of the options for them is to create a public option. i think it is very possible that my state of oregon will consider doing that. i think some other states as well. it is probably regrettable from a cost containment point of view not to have a public option, but i think it is a positive step that will allow states to choose what is appropriate for them. i am not a big believer that oregon and other states should have a lot of -- i am a big believer that oregon and a lot of states should have the freedom to do with it what to do. host: the next call is from oregon, a republican. please go ahead with your comment for your attorney general. caller: i would like to ask the
question on how many have been allowed to die under the oregon health care plan, because the medicine was too expensive, and oregon deemed it that way and they have died. i have called and asked the question, and i know a person personally who has been allowed to die. i've been listening to lars larson talk radio, and this is going on in oregon, and if it happens and oregon, would it be allowed to happen under obamacare? i'm sorry, i do not trust you. i have called trying to track down from the head of that sale of all the way down, trying to track down how many people in oregon have been allowed to die -- host: all right, we got the point. attorney general kroger, could you speak to what she had to say and on organ's kind of unique twist on health care?
-- oregon's kind of unique twist on healthcare? guest: i am not aware of anyone in oregon who has died because of the cost of health care. hundreds of thousands of people are not able to get it without action from the federal government. one of the good things about the national health-care bill, is that color is unhappy with the job we are trying to do -- if that caller is unhappy with the job we're trying to do, we are getting assistance from the federal government to build a better health-care system. i believe that the callers will be more satisfied with the health care system in oregon. the vast majority of people in our state are not covered by that health care plans keep it is a supplementary passkey for people who need financial assistance -- it is a supplementary plan for people who need financial assistance. host: is it unique to oregon? is it modeled on other states?
guest: when it was a virtually past, it was quite innovative. the cost of health care had gotten quite expensive. it has been reduced particularly in this recession to a pretty standard national health plan. it i -- what is a little bit unique about it is that we still try to prioritize different types of care and get it to people who need it most, and there is a process that i think people still think is very innovative. the truth of the matter is that we are really struggling financially to get called to particularly children. we have lots of children who are not insured in the state. we are trying to get more children enrolled in the healthcare plan. the national health care bill is important to us because we tried to go it alone as a state. we tried for well over a decade to have a state health care plans to that could really take care of everyone and make sure everyone is insured. it is difficult as a state of 3 million people to do that.
what we are going to see with the national health care plan is some greater federal assistance in building the kind of health care system that we need to make sure that people can take care of their children. host: the kaiser family foundation, requires states to report on trends in premium increases and whether certain plans should be excluded from the insurance exchange, and it create a state option to cover child as adults, medicaid state plan -- cover childless adults through a medicate state plan. richmond, virginia. caller: i just wanted to make a comment on the new bill. it seems to me that it is going to help out a lot right now people do not have insurance and go to the emergency room and have huge bills and we end up footing the bill. at least this way we will have some money every month for
millions more people to help cover those bills. thank you. host: mr. kroger. guest: absolutely true. in oregon hospitals, it ranges from 6% to, in some cases, almost 15% of the people coming through the door who do not have health insurance. as a result, they tend to deflate care, so it requires a lot, -- they tend to delay care, so it requires a lot more money. small businesses pay a lot more to cover the uninsured. what we hope to see, and i think we will see in this bill, is a real effort to make sure that people are not seeking health care without insurance. again, you know, from my point of view, i am not a health-care expert. my goal is to defend the constitution of my state or country, and the controversy over the bill has really focused on a lot of the policy aspects.
my strong message to people is that of ronald reagan's constitutional law expert in front of the united states supreme court, that it is far fetched to challenge this bill. host: next call comes from hartford, connecticut, republican line. please go ahead. caller: i was just wondering, are you jewish? host: what does that matter, color, seriously? -- why does that matter, caller, seriously? that is so inconsequential and so unnecessary. tony, bill ahead. cal -- go ahead. you with us? i am not sure where tony went, either. next caller. you are on with the oregon attorney general. caller: thank you for c-span.
it is good. my question is why is insurance being voted on and voted in by people who do not pay for insurance, who pay for less than 1% of their income and force premiums on people who pay, some of them as much as 50% of their income code to insurance -- goes to insurance. we need to get rid of the insurance companies and go to a public option where everyone pays the same rate regardless of their income as a percentage of their income, just like taxes should be and are not. thank you. host: attorney general kroger, if you could address that, if you are more than a welcome but also to put a legal twist on that -- you are more than welcome to add your personal comments, but also to put a legal twist on that. guest: there were obviously some
people in the democratic party who wanted to see a single payer system. many wanted to see a public option. that was obviously opposed by a lot of moderates and conservatives. the ultimate course that was chosen, typical in a democracy where we value compromise, to come to an agreement that we retain the private insurance system but try to perform its by making sure that people cannot be turned away from insurance because of pre-existing conditions, that people cannot be taken off the insurance rolls because they develop a serious element -- ailment, to make sure that insurance is available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. those are very important reforms. i think that constitutionally, it is probably clearer that the single payer system is constitutional. some conservatives are irked by
that, but case law suggests pretty broad power of the government when it is simply providing benefits. interestingly, you probably have with the public option a little easier route and the courts -- with the courts. i think the bill that is past is constitutional. going back to supreme court precedent over 100 years, it suggests to me both as a lawyer and as a law professor, which was my profession before i became attorney general, i think that clearly this bill is going to be upheld in the courts. host: california, july on the republican line. -- joy on the republican line. caller: i'm 78 but fortunate to be a strong and healthy person. never been sick. after 23 years of marriage, i was divorced, unfortunately, with three young sons. i am so tired of hearing these
people who are perfectly capable of obtaining their own insurance, because i worked three jobs, i worked seven days and seven nights for my three jobs, so that i had, most important, taking care of my little boy's -- that i could pay for their medical insurance, and i also work extra hard to have medical insurance to pay for myself. i have worked all my life. now with this sickening, disgusting plan are coming out with now, because the people out there who do not want to work as hard as i did, i am going to lose my insurance and i am going to go on this discussing plan or i will not be taken care of because -- i am going to go on this disgusting plan where i will not be taking care of because i will not always be as healthy as i am now. these people who did not work as
hard as i did, we will be picking up their tabs. i cannot tell you how angry that makes me, and i am not the only citizen like that. guest: well, i think the caller should like the bill because it's as you are required to have health insurance and you cannot shift costs onto other people, and if you do not have insurance, you wind up having to pay a fine. the goal of the bill is to require those very people the caller is complaining about to have insurance. we have to recognize that with high unemployment, there is a lot of people in this country who desperately want jobs who cannot get them. in oregon, unemployment is roughly 10%. in a lot of the rural areas, it is close to 20%. try as people want, they will not be able to get jobs. they will have to show up and get charity care at a hospital, which costs more.
all of us wind up paying for it. it does not seem like every wise solution. like a very wise solution. host: roger on the democrats' line, you are on the air. caller: i've got two questions. the wind, it is a pre-existing plan working now -- one, is the pre-existing plan working now? on some jobs, insurance people are saying that they are not taking pre-existing. two, is, like -- my fiancee is getting laid off on the job, and the insurance people were going to drop her and now she will not have income to pay for insurance, and she has a little sick is of her throat. how will she get insurance if she does not have the money to pay for it? host: as the attorney general of oregon, how would you answer
that question? guest: i think the caller should get in touch with people in his state government and try to see what is available to help. i think the thing that will help is the mandatory coverage portions, which will he ensure that everyone has health insurance coverage and to get them on a plan to still get them covered. that does not take in yet. for the color's fiancee, it may be a -- for the caller's fiancee, it may be a period of time before she can get that. this is what the law is trying to solve. you know, we have seen that a lot here in oregon we have high unemployment, lots of people lost jobs and lost jobs with health insurance coverage, and now they are scrambling to find
ways to take care of their family. the health-care bill, in my view, is an effort to have a more grown up response -- a more grown up, responsible system, where people can get the continuity of coverage and can continue to keep their family in help when the economy is both good and when there is a downturn. i recommend that the caller reach out to people in local government and they can steer you in the right direction. host: john kroger, we probably should have asked this at the start of the program today, but what is the role of the attorney general in implementing the health care bill? guest: you know, our main role would be right up front in this series of lawsuits to determine whether the health-care bill is constitutional or not. we would also probably play a role in increasingly cracking down on health care fraud,
something that i am already actively doing here, making sure that people committing health- care fraud, pharmaceutical companies, providers, individuals, are held accountable when they violate the law. it is really on the constitutional question. congress has passed a very broad new law. people have a very legitimate concerns about whether it is constitutional. it is totally appropriate for us to resolve those cases in court. i expect them to go to the united states supreme court. when people talk about whether this bill is constitutional or not, for me the important thing is to look at what the court has done in the past. going back to the jacobson decision in 1905, we have seen the supreme court uphold government regulation of health care and insurance. i think we're going to seat the supreme court determine if the bill has constitutional and let it go forward. i think it is completely legitimate for the states that
oppose the health care bill to challenge it. i wished that states like mine that support the bill were given an opportunity to participate in those cases. but we will certainly try it at the supreme court level to let our voices be heard. host: alabama, republican line. caller: my first question was, it is this program going to incentivize people that don't already take care of themselves that already have major health issues to not take care of themselves even more? there are several things that just keep popping into my head. i know a girl who was on 50% disability because she was raped when she was in the military. i hope she is not listening to this, because she is a good friend of mine. but is the government going to be responsible for her for the rest of her life? what is the deal with this disability if you worked for the
government during that time? host: john kroger, any answer for that caller? guest: i served in the marine corporate the law is clear on disability benefit -- i served in the marine corps. the law is clear on disability benefits. you will get health care at the time from the armed services, and depending on the injury, you will get disability assistance. our warriors who had been wounded or disabled in iraq and afghanistan, coming back, they will not only get health care treatments, but if they are disabled afterwards, assistance. in the case you are talking about, it is very possible that -- event obviously, -- it is very possible that this event -- obviously, i don't know the facts, but it is an incredibly regrettable thing that has
happened. she would be getting assistance. that would be eligible you going back decades governing treatment and disability -- that would be a law going back decades and , e taxing power. but he did not cite a single example where the federal government has punished individual americans for their economic activity. that is what this is all about. it is not my job as attorney general to be involved in all the public policy issues surrounding health care. it is my job to fight to preserve a federalism, and i will elaborate on that i am, and protect the individual rights of colorado citizens. we have a system of federalism in this country that says the federal government can only exercise enumerated powers given to aid in the united states constitution, and by the expressed terms of that document, all other powers not given to the federal government
in the document are reserved to the states and the people. there is no health care power in the constitution. i think our founders are probably spinning in their graves at the notion of the federal government in the health-care business. congress may regulate commerce among the states. james madison disrupt the purpose of it in the federalist papers -- james madison describe the purpose of it in the federalist papers, trying to prevent states from erecting trade barriers between each other. but that is the key point, economic activity. this is the first time that congress has tried to reach out and punish individual americans for their economic inactivity. this is not a brand new issue. beginning in 1994, when the first discussion of an individual health insurance mandate came up in congress, it
was the nonpartisan congressional budget office that what congressional member -- let me read you what they said to them -- a mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance is an unprecedented form of federal action. the federal government has never required any people to purchase any good or service as a requirement of living in the united states. if this expansion of the federal power is sustained by the courts, our future relationship as individuals with the federal government is changed forever. right now they are trying to incentivize economic conduct. if you buy a house, we will give you a tax deduction, mortgage deduction. if you buy solar panels, we will give you a tax credit. our future, if this kind of power is sustained, is if you do not buy solar panels, we will find you 2% of your adjusted gross income. if you do not belong to a health club, because that is needed for your good health, we will fine
you 2% of your adjusted gross income. this is about the power of the federal government over our individual economic decision making. it is sustained, my question is what is left of federalism? what limitation is there on a federal power over our individual lives? host: attorney general suthers is a republican from colorado. he served as u.s. attorney for the district of colorado from 2001 to 2005. he will be joining us for the next 30 minutes or so to take your calls as we continue our discussion on the the state's and implementation of the health care bill and the role of the attorney general, be the goal of the attorney general's. -- the legal role of the attorney generals. have you filed a suit or amicus
brief on this? guest: i am part of a suit filed in the northern district of florida, and interestingly enough, another plaintiff in that case is the national federation of independent business, representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses. in that case, the complete has been filed and the federal government has filed a motion to dismiss. that will be argued in september. as you know, just this week, the district court judge in virginia, in case a very similar to ours, said just as i indicated, that this is an unprecedented form of federal action, and denied the federal government's motion to dismiss. we hope that will be the same result in our case. i agree with john kroger. when i first got into this case, a lot of critics said that this was frivolous. i hear a lot less of that now.
the bottom line is that this case is going to be decided by the united states supreme court. i think is going to be close, given the divisions and the court. but i feel very strongly. my bottom line is this -- if the federal government can force you to bite a particular product or service and -- buy a particular product or service and fine you if you don't, federalism is a dead letter. host: first call is from tennessee, independent line. caller: high. -- hi. my first comment is that it seems to me that the states are the proper parties to bring this suit to -- against are not the proper parties -- the states
are not the proper parties to bring this suit against this obviously on constitutional mandate. they are not the victims. the states will be found not to have standing. nevertheless, what i wanted to point out is come up with his attorney general -- what i wanted to point out is, for this attorney general to rely on the constitution to protect us at this stage in the game is a little silly. for example, the 13th amendment for business, involuntary servitude -- nevertheless, we are allowed to draft people into the military. host: attorney general suthers, two legal points that caller made. guest: a good legal point. i assure you that a part of the federal government's challenge to the suit is the standing of the attorneys general to bring the case. historically, and there is a
recent state law for the supreme court were it says that the attorneys general are given special solicitude to represent the interests of the people in their state. in the virginia case just decided, just decided in the trial court -- it is just a denial of the motion to dismiss -- the attorney general did have standing to represent individuals in the state. the second point is a very good one. it reemphasizes my point. among the enumerated powers and the constitution is the power to raise an army, and the draft is an extension of the enumerated powers of the federal government to raise an army. if you look at various things that the federal government does, there has to be an enumerated power behind it. 90% of what they do relies on the commerce power. it has been broadly construed
for all sorts of economic activity that impacts interstate commerce. what we have here is people sitting at home on the couch choosing not to engage in interstate commerce and being punished for it. let's start with the basic proposition -- health insurance is a good thing. we want people to have health insurance. this whole system, if we're not going to have any penalties for pre-existing conditions, we need a bunch of healthy 22-year-olds in the insurance pool. we understand that. but that does not allow the federal government to achieve a good end by unconstitutional means. they have to find a constitutional means to do it. host: when it comes to states, at the health care law requires legal residents to have qualifying health coverage and creates state-based american health benefit exchanges, permits states the option to create a basic health plan, and it allows states the option of
merging the individual and small market groups. we have a tweet for you. guest: those are payroll taxes. let's talk about the taxing power for a moment. interestingly enough, congress and the president said that the individual health insurance mandate was going to be based on the commerce power. when the justice department filed its motion to dismiss our case, they essentially gave up on the commerce power and said that it is the taxing power. let's talk about the taxing power. congress clearly has the power to tax an economic transaction, a taxable event. the citizens of the united states, in passing in the
legislature is the 16th amendment, gives congress the power to tax the payroll and tax income. once again, ask to be some aspect of -- it has to be some aspect of taxing and economic activity. what we have here is taxing you simply because you exist and are failing to engage in interstate commerce. that is not a transactional tax. that is what we call a head tax or a capitation tax. the only way that is constitutional is if, under section 9 of the constitution, it is a proportional tax for the states. this is not a proportional tax. you are being taxed for sitting on her couch and not doing what the government wants to do. that is not a proper exercise of the taxing power and is a big part of our case. host: wisconsin, and you are on with attorney-general suthers. caller: i am against the law not
for the reasons you are. i'm against the law because i am being made to pay an extra 30% to some pencil pushing insurance adjuster, beyond what my health care costs are. host: what do you mean? caller: well, why am i not paying single payer, not paying the public option, eliminating insurance companies? host: we discussed the public option with the oregon attorney general, mr. suthers. what do you think as far as the constitutionality of the public option? guest: i agree with him, it would have been cleaner. it would not have been reaching out and to each individual and saying that if you do not do what we wanted to do, we are going to punish you. this individual brings up a good point. i am a free enterprise guy, on market guide -- a markeet
guy, but people concerned about interest rates and costs on to ask themselves a basic question -- why is it that insurance companies embraced this bill and the final analysis? it is because it is a boon for insurance. that may cause some democrats out there who think we are paying too much for insurance and don't like insurance companies to think twice, because they really like this system. host: quincy, democrat, hi. caller: i disagree with the original example with respect to commerce and the things that the federal government gives you credit for -- for instance, whether rising houses and things like that. the insurance industry -- if individuals don't purchase insurance and something happens to them, we as policyholders end
up having to pay for it. we are paying for people that are capable of paying and refuse to pay and get sick and then us as insurance policy holders end up having to pay for that particular cost. i have social security tax taken out of my pay. however, i get none of that money back and it goes into the system. there was not any particular service that i was getting from social security and the -- host: we are going to leave it there, thank you. john suthers. guest: this part about deterring freeloaders is an important one, and it is why we want everybody to have insurance. but i get back to the basic issue, that the government has
to come up with the constitutional message of -- constitutional method of incentivizing you or coercing you it to buy insurance. there are two tried and true constitutional methods of incentivizing conduct. i talked about one, giving a tax break. i guess it was deemed too expensive it to say that we will give you a hell of a tax but if you buy insurance. but the other way they have done it in the past is to simply say to the states that if you want medicaid dollars, you want your highway dollars, you have to pass the laws. they could have incentivized states to do it. they passed it up because i think they thought it would be too politically messy, because it would have gone to the states and expanded -- extended the political chaos for several years. they chose for the first time in our history to reach out and ordered each individual american to buy a particular product or
be punished for it. it is constitutionally unprecedented and i think that the supreme court is going to resolve this issue, this very serious constitutional issue in the next few years. host: what is your democratic colleague ritter think about this? guest: well, of course, he thinks it is fine. he and 80 -- he and ag kroger our constitutional utopians. in matters a lot of the federal government achieves things, because it has a lot of consequences for individual americans. host: tampa, independent line. caller: there was the statement made earlier about people that are uninsured receiving medical
treatment, how this drive up premiums. if this law is passed, where a similar law, would that affect -- would premiums go down for those of us who do pay insurance premiums? secondly, has anyone addressed this issue on the other side, the flip side of this law? i will give you an example. i had a procedure awhile back and i received a bill, and a hospital charged me $5,000 for a recovery room procedure. nore was no poin -- appointment and i slept in the room for an hour with the lights off -- host: you know what, i think that is beyond what attorney- general suthers is prepared to talk about. you are more than welcome to address it. guest: it is a great point about
cost. i am not an expert in this area, but common sense would tell me that the more people you have ensured, the fewer people you have freeloading, and insurance costs are going to be reduced. keep in mind, however, that to a great extent, the extended coverage which we are going to have in the feature -- future is not from people buying insurance but the huge expansion of medicaid eligibility. in colorado, hundreds of thousands of more people will be eligible for medicaid. in the united states, millions more people. that will cost taxpayers more money. we estimate that in the first to six years when this kicks in, it will be another half billion dollars for color letter taxpayers, money we don't have
at this time. and experts tell me that one of the criticisms of this bill is that what americans are most concerned about is the cost of health care, and there is very little in this bill that deals with cost. i want to emphasize that that is not what i am concerned about as attorney general. i'm concerned about the assault on federalism, the deprivation -- the expansion of federal power taking away from the states, and what it could be for individuals and their economic decision making in the future if the federal government is able to punish them for not buying a product or service that the federal government wants them to buy. host: if you're sued, you and other 19 states -- if your suit, you and the other 19 states, goes forward, what happens then? guest: whoever loses in the florida district court will have the right to appeal to the 11th
circuit court of appeals. whoever abuses there will have the ability -- to request -- out -- whoever loses there will not the ability to request the supreme court to -- ticket -- will have the ability to request the supreme court to take the case. i fully expect the supreme court to take the case. based on what i know about the supreme court, it will be close. i think the case will be well framed and it is not just about health care. it is about the federal government's ability to use either the commerce or taxing power to force americans to buy a particular product. host: are there any democrats on the the suit, or is it all republicans? guest: there is one democrat, the attorney general of louisiana. he has a republican governor. i talked to a lot of my democratic colleagues, and interestingly enough, it seems